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CRTC Additional Information

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Additional information on wholesale high-speed access services

In the late 1990s, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC) decided that it would not intervene in Internet
services. There was enough competition to give Canadians choice. Internet
service providers set the rates paid by consumers, as well as other terms
and conditions, without having to obtain the CRTC’s approval.With the introduction of high-speed Internet services, the CRTC required
large telephone and cable companies to sell access to their networks to
independent service providers on a wholesale basis. Independent service
providers use these services, known as wholesale high-speed access
services, to offer Internet and other services to their own retail
customers. This decision was taken to encourage further competition and
choice for Canadians. By the end of 2011, independent service providers
had more than 700,000 high-speed residential Internet subscribers, or
nearly 7 per cent of the market.

In 2011, the CRTC launched a public consultation to review how the large
companies should charge independent service providers for the use of their
networks. Further to this consultation, the CRTC selected two wholesale
billing models—the capacity-based and flat-rate models—that give
independent service providers the flexibility to develop innovative
packages and pricing plans. At the same time, these models allow the large
companies to recover their costs and continue to invest in their
networks.

Since then, several large companies and independent service providers have
asked the CRTC to review the wholesale rates associated with these billing
models. Some wholesale rates were implemented on an interim basis while
the CRTC considered these requests.

The CRTC has now finalized the rates for wholesale high-speed access
services.

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